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Who Will Replace Yamil Asad? Four South Americans Atlanta United Should Look At

Atlanta United FC

Yamil Asad has been crucial to Atlanta United’s success this season.

With six goals and 11 assists in the MLS this season, he has made a telling contribution towards the Five Stripes securing their playoff spot.

However, he is set to leave the club at the end of December when his loan deal expires and return to Argentine parent club, Velez Sarsfield.

Atlanta could look to secure a permanent deal for Asad but, should some other young South American attackers be on their radar to replace the 23-year-old?

Name: Walter Gael Sandoval

Age: 21

Club: Santos Laguna

Position: LW/RW/CAM/CM

Sandoval is the outside choice of the four players I have selected.

The young Mexican is yet to have a really productive season but the potential is clearly there.

Last season saw him bag two goals and pick up seven assists for Santos Laguna in 34 appearances across all competitions but while these numbers are fairly low, Asad’s numbers for Velez were also low.

Quick, tricky and direct, Sandoval brings a style that would cause MLS defenders a whole host of problems.

A brilliant striker of the ball and clever in the final third, the 21-year-old has plenty of time and room to improve, making him a real prospect.

His versatility is also key. Asad has played in a number of positions for Gerardo Martino’s side and replacing him with a player who can do the same is vital.

Valued at £1.62 million on transfermarkt, ATL could easily secure the signature of Sandoval but as with every player that I am going to highlight it is unclear whether Santos Laguna would want to sell.

Name: Jefferson Savarino

Age: 20

Club: Zulia FC (On loan at Real Salt Lake)

Position: RW/LW/CAM

Another youngster who has taken the MLS by storm.

Savarino joined Real Salt Lake on loan in May after impressing for Venezuelan top-flight side Zulia FC, for whom he scored nine goals in 16 appearances in all competitions.

Since moving to RSL, he has continued his fine form, scoring six times and assisting a further seven in 21 MLS games.

The pacey winger is a real live wire, darting past defenders, wriggling his way through challenges before finding an accurate pass to a teammate.

Having also proven his ability to perform consistently in the MLS, he would be the perfect replacement for Asad in the Atlanta side.

With a value of less than £1 million on transfermarkt the potential for a cheap deal is there should Atlanta choose to explore the option.

Name: Angel Zaldivar

Age: 23

Club: Guadalajara

Position: LW/RW/ST

Mexican attacker Zaldivar would not provide a direct replacement for Asad but he would add a versatility to the Atlanta side, as well as a goal threat.

Last season saw the 23-year-old score 11 goals and assist four in 36 games across a host of competitions and he has made a bright start to this campaign, scoring once in Guadalajara’s opening two game.

While not naturally a winger, Zaldivar can play in that position but he is most effective when operating through the middle.

A composed penalty box finisher with brilliant close control, the Mexican is a constant danger in the final third.

Having a player who can replace Asad, provide cover for star striker Josef Martinez or even play in a partnership with him should Gerardo Martino choose to change the system is a crucial reason as to why I have selected him.

His transfermarkt value of £2.3 million is also reasonably cheap for the quality of player Atlanta would be getting.

Name: Martin Benitez

Age: 23

Club: Independiente

Position: LW/RW/CAM

The most expensive player on this list.

Benitez is a lightning quick winger whose quality in the final third would more than replace Asad for Atlanta.

He has started this season in fine form scoring twice in the opening four games, equalling his tally for last season.

A direct attacker who is always looking to keep his team on the front foot, the Argentine is a quality player, reflected by his transfermarkt value of £4.25 million.

While being the most expensive, I believe Benitez is the most talented of the quartet.

Atlanta may choose one of these four, they may go for someone else, but it is clear for all Five Stripes fans to see, Yamil Asad will be sorely missed.